Movie Review - 'The Twilight Saga: New Moon' - Under This 'New Moon,' a Surprising Lack of Passion If you have teenage girls in your life, you don't need to be told that New Moon, the second part of The Twilight Saga, hits movie theaters this weekend. Even though the world may have had enough of star-crossed sweethearts Edward and Bella by the series' end, critic Kenneth Turan says there's not enough of them in this installment.
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Under A 'New Moon,' A Surprising Lack Of Passion

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Under A 'New Moon,' A Surprising Lack Of Passion

Review

Movies

Under A 'New Moon,' A Surprising Lack Of Passion

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Thanksgiving may be the big day of the year for cooks, but for vampire-loving teenage girls, today is the most important day of 2009. "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" is in theaters. Our film critic Kenneth Turan was a fan of the first movie, and he has this review of the sequel.

KENNETH TURAN: Early in "New Moon," vampire Edward Cullen and melancholy Bella Swan have a serious talk in the woods, and Edward delivers a bombshell.

(Soundbite of movie, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon")

Mr. ROBERT PATTINSON (Actor): (As Edward Cullen) You just don't belong in my world, Bella.

Ms. KRISTIN STEWART (Actress): (As Bella Swan) I belong with you.

Mr. PATTINSON: (As Edward) This is the last time you'll ever see me. Please just promise me you won't do anything reckless.

TURAN: As far as on-screen promises go, that's one of the least likely to be kept in movie history. The world is going to see as much of Edward and Bella as it can take, with much of this film still to unfold and two more parts in the works.

In the short term, however, Edward is as good as his word, leaving town for Bella's own good, and "New Moon" never recovers. The film keeps the two lovers apart for quite a spell, robbing it of the crazy-in-love energy that made "Twilight" such a guilty pleasure.

Like a lot of movie series, "New Moon" has entered the self-protective, don't-rock-the-boat phase - inevitable, but a bit of a shame. In place of "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke, a filmmaker who felt these teenage actors in her bones, "New Moon" has gone with the more polished Chris Weitz, who doesn't deliver as much passion.

Yes, I know, "New Moon's" emotional energy is supposed to come through Bella's attachment to newly buff best friend Jacob Black. When I saw the movie, the whole audiences gasped when Jacob rips off his shirt and reveals an impressive torso. But that's less interesting than Jacob's ability to turn into a wolf at a moment's notice.

(Soundbite of movie, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon")

Mr. TAYLOR LAUTNER (Actor): (As Jacob) Bella.

(Soundbite of roaring)

TURAN: Bella certainly has unusual taste in friends. It all gets so complicated that Edward makes a dramatic appearance before the Volturi and their friends, the closest thing vampires have to a they-who-must-be-obeyed ruling class.

These folks are so powerful, they get to be played by high-profile actors like Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning. As Jimmy Durante might have said, where "Twilight" is concerned, everybody wants to get into the act.

INSKEEP: Kenneth Turan reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and the Los Angeles Times. And we review more movies, including the latest Sandra Bullock film, "The Blindside," at npr.org.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: This is NPR News.

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